Protests Sparking In Cuba
Cubans are no longer silent. On July 11th, protestors bravely filled the streets chanting "Libertidad" (freedom) and "Down with communism!" after 62 years of abuse and negligence. Protestors overturned police cars and looted shops--which, for many, was the only way to alleviate painful hunger. Mothers haven’t seen children in days, police continue tracking protestors, and hundreds of individuals are still missing. What has led up to this point?
Image Credit: ABC News
Extreme disparity. Waiting eight hours in line for a piece of bread. Working day and night but struggling to support your family. Living in a deteriorated home. And, worst of all, staying silent during it. This is the reality of life in communist Cuba. Meanwhile, the top 1%, mainly those with positions of considerable power in government, live a lavish and oblivious life. Just a few months ago, Fiedel Castro’s grandson, Sandro Castro, took a video in a Mercedes Benz, boasting about his luxurious life. With COVID-19 causing economic turmoil and increasing inequality in Cuba, it is needless to say that Cubans were enraged by Sandro’s behavior.
The government is trying to find a “perpetrator” or leader of the protests. Villainizing its own people, the Cuban government refuses to take responsibility for its actions. Instead, it “ha[s] gone house by house detaining people.” The government has tried to spew many false narratives and bombard the world with fake news, but thanks to social media, the world has been able to see the truth behind its attempts. Saying a sixteen year old protestor was part of the CIA? Claiming the protestors were “confused revolutionaries”? People are not buying it this time.
Cubans are not asking for much. All they want is basic human rights. The younger Cubans, many of whom were leading the protests, understand that complicity hinders progress. It is time for the world to join in this fight for freedom. Cubans are in aching need of your support.
There are many ways to help and support Cubans from your own home. One effective way is to write to your congressman/congresswoman about the situation. While they are aware of the current news, reaching out puts pressure on them to act. You can use this link to find your representatives: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative